French raider Easysland claimed a decisive success in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.
David Cottin’s charge lined up at Prestbury Park off the back of multiple cross-country triumphs in his homeland at Pau and Compiegne – and was sent off a well-supported 5-2 favourite in the hands of Jonathan Plouganou.
Ridden prominently throughout the three-mile-six-furlong contest, Easysland took over the lead a long way from home and never really looked in any danger of being caught, passing the post eight lengths to the good.
Easysland’s part-owner David Futter said: “He is not overly big and that is why we got him cheaply at the sales, but I’ve been at it long enough to know it’s what’s in their heart and head that matters.
“We stand the stallion Gentlewave at Yorton Farm ourselves and we try to support our stallions.
“He has always been able to jump. Did we think he would take us to Cheltenham? No. They’ve got to get round the fences and jump and he just about did it.
“We will see how he goes. He has already won two cross-country races at Pau and hopefully we will go there for the Grand Cross Country and see how he goes then hopefully come back here in March.
“I’m a kid from a housing estate watching this on the television and I never ever in my life thought I’d have a winner here, so we are going to enjoy the moment.
“We work hard and play hard and we will play tonight!”
Amazing Comedy chased home his stablemate to provide Cottin with a one-two.
He said of the winner: “It was a very good performance. For me this is my future champion in cross-country races.
“He is only five years old with not much experience. For me he is a smashing horse. He is very small, but he is a very good horse.
“Maybe will go for the big cross-country at Pau and come back here in March.”
Gordon Elliott’s Irish challenger Out Sam best of the rest in third. The well-fancied Yanworth suffered a heavy fall a long way from home, while his stable companion Josies Orders – a four times winner at the track – never threatened to land a telling blow.